A molcajete is the Mexican mortar and pestle, which is used to create a number of dishes in Mexico. Although there have been countless technological advances in kitchen tools, the molcajete remains a vital element in many Mexican households and restaurants. You can cook without one, but a molcajete can help you cook traditional dishes from Mexico as they were meant to be prepared.


  • The molcajete was first used in the Tehuacan Valley of present-day Mexico.

Time Frame

  • Molcajetes were used up to 6000 years ago.


Name Origin

  • The word “molcajete” comes from the Aztec words “molli” (which means “seasoning” or “sauce”) and “caxitl” (which means “bowl”).


  • Molcajetes were traditionally made from volcanic rock. Today, some are made from other types of porous rock or man-made materials.


  • Molcajetes first developed when, over time, the grinding of coarse food¬†caused a hollow bowl to form in the grinding stone.